Slabbing and consigning Littleton sets
I provided a photo of such a tampered set.
You can purchase original sets from the Littleton company for $345, but you also can find good buys in Internet auctions.
The photo above shows an original set on the bottom and a recently holdered coin from that set, graded Mint State 63 by PCGS.
I won the set with a $140 bid, or $165 with shipping and buyer’s premium. The coins were beautifully toned. All three graded a very conservative MS-63, although the 1883-O depicted in the photo here looks MS-64+ or even MS-65, in my view.
I was disappointed in the PCGS grades. It looked like a quick job without much deliberation, which sometimes happens. Clearly, the 1883-O was much finer with fewer marks than the 1884-O and 1885-O. In retrospect, I should have cracked it out and resubmitted. But I wanted to get the coins to market.
If you think that is the opinion of a hobbyist, the market decided who was right, PCGS grades notwithstanding. Consigned to eBay, the 1883-O coin sold for $100, the 1884-O for $67.85, and the 1885-O for $77.
It could have been a bigger payday if the grades were MS-64, but you have to take into account slabbing fees. So in the end, my $160 Littleton set, with holdering and mailing fees added, came to about $200.
After paying my eBay consignment fees, my net profit was a meager $15.
But at least several hobbyists got great coins at bargain online prices.